The Witcher: Blood Origin will 'surprise' fans of Netflix's hit show

Henry Cavill's Geralt prepares for battle in The Witcher season 2
(Image credit: Jay Maidment/Netflix)

The Witcher showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich has explained how the franchise's forthcoming Blood Origin TV show will "surprise" fans.

Speaking exclusively to TechRadar at The Witcher season 2 press junket, Hissrich offered an insight into why fans of Netflix's hit show will want to tune into the prequel series when it arrives in 2022.

Asked what will set The Witcher: Blood Origin apart from the mainline show's two seasons so far, Hissrich suggested that the prequel series' aesthetic and tone will differ from what's come before.

"I think one of the things that’s going to surprise viewers is how it looks," Hissrich said. "We had a very clear stance on ‘it can’t just be another branch of our medieval fantasy.’ So how do we reinvent what this world looks like?"

Elaborating further, Hissrich admitted that, compared to The Witcher, some viewers may be taken aback by how modern Blood Origin appears. It's an interesting distinction to make, given that Blood Origin will precede the events of The Witcher by 1,200 years.

Hissrich, though, believes that fans will revel in exploring the Continent – the fictional world that The Witcher is set in – before the Conjunction of the Spheres, a cataclysmic event that affects the entire Witcher multiverse. Not only will audiences get to see how the Witchers came into being, Hissrich teased, but fans will also get a more detailed look at the Continent's elves and their role in the Witchers' creation.

"I think what’s really going to surprise people is that it doesn’t look older than The Witcher," Hissrich added. "In fact, in some ways, it looks more modern. Because we get to talk about what elven civilization was before humans came before the Conjunction of the Spheres. So I think it’s going to be really fun and surprising for fans."

Geralt and Ciri riding Roach in The Witcher season 2 on Netflix

(Image credit: Jay Maidment/Netflix)

Set 1,200 years before The Witcher TV series, Blood Origin will explore the Continent's ancient elven civilization before its demise as a result of the Conjunction of the Spheres. The prequel story will also cover the creation of the very first Witcher, mutated humans who are subjected to intense training and magical experiments, in order to become monster slayers available for hire.

A six-part miniseries, The Witcher: Blood Origin was initially supposed to star Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen & Slim, Without Remorse) as Éile, a warrior of the Queen's guard who leaves her post to become a traveling musician – that is, until she's pulled back into her previous role by unforeseen circumstances.

Due to scheduling conflicts, however, Turner-Smith departed the project in August 2021, with Sophia Brown (Giri/Haji, Top Boy) replacing her as the show's lead.

Little else is known about the show's plot, but Blood Origin's creative team have assembled a cast to rival that of the mainline Witcher series. Michelle Yeoh (Shang-Chi, Crazy Rich Asians), Laurence O’Fuarain (Vikings, Rebellion) Lenny Henry (Doctor Who, Broadchurch) and Dylan Moran (Black Books, Uncle) are among its supporting cast.

The Witcher: Blood Origin will launch exclusively on Netflix sometime in 2022. The Witcher season 2, meanwhile, arrives on December 17 – and you can read our spoiler-free review of its first six episodes to get an idea of what to expect. Or check out the best Netflix shows, including The Witcher, to watch right now.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

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